Challenges and Lessons for 50th Earth Day

Earth Day 50 will focus on the importance of continuing investment in the health of the planet. Photo credit: lovelyday12/Adobe Stock.

NEW YORK — Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. And to mark the occasion, environmentalists are having a virtual gathering, urging the state of New York to continue its commitment to healing the planet.

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a huge impact on the New York state budget. But environmentalists stress it will be vitally important to maintain state support for programs that protect our water, air and wilderness areas.

According to Bobbi Wilding, deputy director at Clean and Healthy New York, the virtual event will include dialog between environmentalists and state policy makers about where to direct state resources.

“It’s really about investing in the future and making sure that our state continues to be in a leadership position,” Wilding said.

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Wilding said the virtual event will serve as a public forum for discussions about ensuring continued funding for programs such as the Clean Water Infrastructure Act and the Environmental Protection Fund.

“We’re going to talk about the issues and we’re going to connect with some of the key legislators who make decisions year in and year out about what kind of policies get enacted,” she said.

A joint letter being released by two dozen environmental groups also urges the state to bring the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act to voters in November.

Wilding said New Yorkers’ cooperative efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 shows what can happen when people come together for a common goal.

“There are a lot of steps that we could be taking together that would help prevent lots of other problems that we’re facing,” she said. “And so, I feel like it’s a moment where we can see our power, and I’m inspired for what’s going to come in the next 50 years.”

The virtual Earth Day 50 meeting will take place from 1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Registration information is available at

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